Late Night News: La Liga Ref of the Year Edition

Your Friendly La Liga Ref
Your Friendly La Liga Ref

This is Megia Davila, a La Liga referee… actually, the reigning La Liga referee of the year according to Marca. No, really. I am dead serious. Okay, maybe I exaggerated. This is a now ex-La Liga referee albeit one who only retired at the end of last season. It’s too good to be true right? No. It’s even better. He is the newest Real Madrid “fichaje” or signing, a “Referee Delegate” and he was gracious enough to grant Spain’s premier representative of journalistic integrity (Marca, duh) an exclusive interview. If this not enough vital journalistic information for you then Marca has also awarded what they humbly proclaim to be “La Liga’s Oscars”: the Pichichi, Zamora, Zarra, Miguel Munoz, and Guruceta awards.  Guess who won one? That’s right: the handsome devil in the above photo. It’s amazing. If you want more information vital to your intellectual, moral, and emotional development as human beings then click “Read More” and carry on.

Let’s go straight to the Headlines:

La Liga’s “Oscars”: Pichichi, Zamora, Zarra, Miguel Munoz, and Guruceta Awards

It would be safe to say that the two most well known and respected La Liga individual awards are, sadly, given out by our friends at Marca. They are none other than the Pichichi (Highest goal scorer in La Liga) and Zamora (goalkeeper with less goals conceded) which are respected because they are given out on the basis of strictly quantitative criteria and cannot thus be influenced by Marca’s “objectivity”. For last season’s performances, those two award s went to Diego Forlan and Victor Valdes respectively. The Zarra Award (or David Villa Award as it should be renamed in the near future), although not as well known is also respected since it conforms to similar criteria: “highest Spanish goal scorer in La Liga”. The Miguel Munoz Award is given out to “the Best Coach”. This one is open to interpretation but last season’s triplete was so convincing that even Marca could not keep it away from Pep. Our coach, however, was too busy being locked into his office developing cold fusion to solve the world’s energy problem and obsessing over tape of our next opponent, Segunda B side Cultural Leonesa, so he sent VP Rafael Yuste to pick up his little piece of tin.

Nonetheless, this is all irrelevant next to the remaining award, the prestigious Guruceta Award which purely coincidentally is named after a referee who is most remembered for being banned from refereeing any Barcelona game by Barcelona themselves after he awarded a penalty to Real Madrid for a foul inflicted a full three meters from the box during a Copa del Generalissimo Quarter Final when our boy Franco was in power. Yes, our friend Megia Davila not only won it for this season but also for the previous one. Considering this comes from Marca, I think it is meant to be taken with a grain of salt. Before long Sport will hand out its own Awards and the best referee will likely be a Catalan.

La Liga’s Emmy’s: The LFP Awards

Meanwhile, La Liga de Futbol Profesional (LFP or La Liga) which is clearly inferior to Marca, handed out its own awards. Of course, it was a Barca sweep. Our winners were:

–          Best Forward: Leo Messi

–          Best Midfielder: Andres Iniesta

–          Best Defender: Dani Alves

–          Best Coach: Pep Guardiola

–          Best Rookie: Sergio Busquets

Guess who was the only non Barca player to win an award: Iker Casillas, of course.  We are all one hundred percent sure that Valdes holds no grudge whatsoever against Casillas. None at all.

Referee of the Year Interview

Megia Davila’s function is in theory supposed to be “to assist the referee delegation that attends all of Real Madrid’s home games and provide them with any assistance that they may require” and to “teach Real Madrid’s canteranos about the Liga regulations and their interpretation”. The second role is fine but the first one admittedly sounds a little ominous. If RM “signing” a ref is was not enough to provoke outrage among the masses then signing one that was officially active albeit injured (with what, in fairness, turned out to be a career ending injury) certainly was. The signing was then reversed amid the uproar but subsequently re-reversed after the controversy seemingly died down.  Starting out in 1996, Davila as a Madrid native never officiated a Real Madrid, Atletico, or Getafe game. However, he officiated his fair share of Barca games. Marca’s exclusive interview of Megia Davila is simply outstanding. Here are some of the better nuggets translated into English:

–          On whether the Technical Officiating Committee was angry when he signed while still active: Totally false. I even read that the president would not even let me into the referee’s locker room. I asked him if this was true and he expressed his full support to him. We have mutual appreciation for each other.

–          On whether he has always been a Madridista: Honestly, yes. Ever since I was little. My father was an Atleti fan but I always had a special sympathy for Madrid.

–          After being told that “it seems a sin that a referee has a favorite team”: True. It’s logical that you cannot express it but it’s there. If you live in Bilbao for 40 years, who will you root for? Is there anything wrong with it if I will never officiate Athletic? If someone thinks that we would help a team by going against their rivals then that person knows nothing about the refereeing collective or the referees themselves.

–          On whether he understood the uproar: It surprised me a lot. I really could not understand the reaction. That’s when I understood the magnitude of Real Madrid.

–          On what he would say to those that would see a “second intention” in his signing: They are wrong.

Oh yeah, he does mention offhand how he has officiated Catalan derbies before. Awesome. Now, referees are people too and football lovers are that. It is logical that they grow up cheering for one team or another. This leads to interesting questions. How about a Catalan referee officiating a Madrid game like Schuster infamously complained about two seasons ago? What do you guys think? Is this just smoke especially considering that other teams employ ex refs (not us though) or is there an actual fire somewhere? Should referees be prohibited from officiating not only their home teams but also their direct rivals? It’s a complicated matter.

Carles Puyol is a Crybaby

This is the most vital piece of news that came out today. During the Guardiola press conference, some reporters expressed concern over Puyol’s health after seeing him with a limp. Of course, it he goes down, we have to dig into la Cantera for a right back or convert another first teamer. Pep put that worry to rest. Here are his words translated to my best abilities:

“You should see him in training. Puyol is a wuss (“jeca”), a bit of a cry baby (“llorica”). I don’t believe him when he asks to be subbed. He’s too strong .”

In other words, “don’t worry about it”. In homage to our brave Captain and our reigning Man of the Match, here’s is the “Keitee!!!” originating videos:

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Written by:

A diehard culé since the Rivaldo/Figo Judas days, I am also a rabid Argentina and Boca Juniors fan despite definitely not being Argentine. Read more articles by me by clicking on the name-link.


  1. Boat Forever
    October 26, 2009

    Hypocrites :angry
    Crybaby 😛

  2. florentino perez
    October 26, 2009

    Hector ill clear any doubt you have about this matter we bought the ex ref so he could help us corrupt other refs that officiate bernabeu games 🙂 isn’t that why we made it so obvious? Typical barca fans *shakes my head*

  3. October 26, 2009

    I need a favor from readers in Chicago, including but not limited to Kxevin.

    My wife and I are four frigging blocks here in Lakeview, but RCN does not cover the new address (which is quite stupid). Anyway, Comcast is very expensive, so I’m looking at other options which get me Gol TV and FSC. I’m going for At&T but was wondering if people have other options they know. Dish Network e.g? Would love to hear thoughts.

    Also, this may sound stupid, but what’s the difference between dish tv (like Dish and At&T) and regular cable (like Comcast and RCN)?

    • Jose32
      October 26, 2009

      Isn’t dish tv generally more expensive (though it’s not much these days), requires installation of a dish, and offers more channels than regular cable? I think that’s the gist of it. I have DirecTV and it hasn’t been a problem, although it has the annoying habit of not including ESPN Deportes and Fox Sports en Espanol with its sports package (need to get the Latin package).

      • BA
        October 27, 2009

        Dish Network does NOT include GolTV. only with DirectTV in the United States can you get Goltv. i have about a squillion Dish channels; but Goltv is unavailable through Dish.

        • ElShowDeJason
          October 27, 2009

          i don’t have direct TV.

          But i do have GolTv.

          But then again CoxCommunications Digital Cable isn’t available nation wide. Actually, its not even available county-wide.

          I get all the Soccer Channels, and my Internet is a zillion times faster than DSL 🙂

          • Tyler
            October 27, 2009

            DirectTV also gives you practically every single champions league match (in HD for the bigger teams) and most Europa League games. I know ATT Uverse offers a lot of soccer channels, but DirectTV has an exclusive deal with UEFA to broadcast champions league. And between GolTV and ESPN2 I think I’ve seen every Barca match except for one on my home television.

    • SoccerMom
      October 27, 2009

      We get DirecTV with GolTV and ESPND and FSE and all the crazy Mun2 channels that sometimes air a random Spain or Barca match. Some DirecTV channels are now broadcasting UEFA / Liga matches too although we’re waiting for that to go PPV. Sometimes it’s a deal … DirecTV knows that the Spanish-speaking market probably has less disposable income than other demos, so you can get all the regular basic DirecTV channels, plus the sports stuff, plus some Spanish-language channels (always fun to watch Telediario after an RM loss) for cheaper than English-only packages without GTV / FSE / ESPND, etc. etc. Plus every now and then they put on an awesome Santo flick

  4. Tim
    October 26, 2009

    Did anyone watch the FIFA Under-17s match between Spain and US? Muniesa, Dalmau, and Sergi Gómez played. Gómez earned himself a red card in the 2nd minute but Muniesa and Dalmau looked pretty good. Spain ended up winning 2-1.

    • Maximus
      October 27, 2009

      A red in the 2nd minute???? What did he do? Plant his boot in someones ass and water it?

      • Boat Forever
        October 27, 2009

        Disgusting… Totally uncalled for Maximus!!! 😛

  5. Helge
    October 27, 2009

    Hey, I checked Ibra’s freekick again because I found a video on youtube that said it was struck with an average speed of 170 km/h (105.63 mph).
    So I downloaded it, converted it into an avi-file and edited it with VirtualDub. The smallest time-frame with VDub is 0.04 seconds, and as far as I can see it, the ball took 0.72 seconds from the boot of Ibra to the hands of the keeper (yes, he actually touches the ball). I estimated the distance on 30 m which leads to 150 km/h (93.2 mph). Maybe my guess about the distance is not correct, if anybody has more reliable sources than his own eyes, let me know 😉

    But there’s something even more impressive: During the first time frame, in which the ball flies through the air, it covers a distance of roughly estimated 6 m which leads to an inital speed of 540 km/h (resp. 335.5 mph)!!!
    Imagine a world without air resistance (not without air, that would suck), in such a world, Ibra’s freekick would literally be deadly.

    • Ciaran
      October 27, 2009

      Awesome Helge. absolutely awesome journalistic endeavour.
      I love this place. We are all so different, weird and wacky in our own ways.

      To anyone who cares, or doesn’t but reads this, I’m listening to one of the coolest songs I have heard in years, Run For Cover by Otep from their awesome album Smash The Control Machine.
      For anyone who likes their music to be a little different, enjoy…

    • Blow-Granite
      October 27, 2009

      Hey Helge,
      It is the air resistance that makes soccer fun, without the resistance there would be no dip, no swerve, … But again… I have never played soccer in space.

      • Helge
        October 27, 2009

        I think you mixed up gravity with air resistance?
        Air resistance does barely affect the trajectory of a ball, it just decelerates it. I have never played soccer in a vacuum box on planet earth, but the trajectories would then (still) be in shape of a parabola – actually with air resistance, it’s not a perfect parabole. Curling shots and crosses would also still be possible, as it results from the shooting technique.
        Maybe the overall range of a cross would decrease a bit, because the initial velocity in x-direction decreases by time if you take air resistance into account, but on the other hand, air resistance decreases all velocities, in all three directions in space 🙂
        This would be an interesting experiment, playing football in a vacuum box. Only problem is the missing oxygen and pressure, which leads to an obligatory complete astronaut’s gear (at least 70kg additional mass)…

        • Maximus
          October 27, 2009

          Indeed the parabola is gravity but the swerve is air resistance, the ball pushes against air particles creating a drag effect and slowing the flight of the ball. If the ball is rotating as it pushes against the particles the ball is forced in the direction of the rotation at the front of the ball.

          You can check out this * link they do it with diagrams and formulas. Note well in the 3rd picture the arrow is showing the direction of the force but the ball moves the opposite direction.

          If the velocity of the ball is such that it can overcome the initial turning force the ball follows its ‘true’ flight until the velocity can no longer overcome the force generated by rotation,at this point the ball starts to swerve.

          This is why C. Ronaldo’s FKs are so dangerous, the ball goes one way and once it has slowed enough for the rotation to take effect it swings the other way. (Kick the ball so it goes to the keepers right but its rotation will make it curve to the left) Additionally the natural parabola of the ball’s flight can be altered with top spin, that is what makes the ball dip so suddenly (Xavi uses this with placement vs the power and horizontal movement of C. Ron). A good example is in tennis, powerful top spin shots make the ball fall quickly after passing the net.

          As a side note: the point at which the spin kicks in can be calculated but most people just practice so they know how hard to hit the ball to get the desired effect. The most obscene case of horizontal spin would be Roberto Carlos’ goal from the touch line and that RIDICULOUS FK he scored for Brazil. Both of which are results of the tremendous velocity and rotational force he was able to generate.

          • Helge
            October 27, 2009

            Oh ya, my bad… it makes sense (sad if physics wouldn’t, right?).

            The touchline kick from Roberto Carlos is even more impressive, because he hits the ball vertical to his running direction with the outside of his left foot, as far as I remember. While running at full speed! I’d break every single bone in my leg if I tried it.

            But I think the arrow on the 3rd picture is also showing to the direction of the deflection, as the ball is moving downwards, so it actually shows to the right, just like the rotation of the ball.

        • Blow-Granite
          October 27, 2009

          The dip happens when there is top spin on the soccer ball, and the swerve happens when there is a side spin on the ball, in either direction. Both of course, happen because of air resistance, since a drag is created on one side of the spinning ball.

  6. Ciaran
    October 27, 2009

    Megia Davila is the referee who awarded Yaya with his first official goal for us, THAT NEVER CROSSED THE LINE, against Athletic.
    He’s not biased… just bad

    • Jnice
      October 27, 2009

      but that was the sideline refs call no?

    • Blow-Granite
      October 27, 2009

      Yes thats the sideline ref’s call.

  7. Boat Forever
    October 27, 2009

    Stats so far this season, in the order of La Liga, Champions League, CDR, Super Copa & Uefa Super Cup

    Goals :

    Messi – 6,1,0,2,0 = 9
    Ibra – 7,1,0,0,0 = 8
    Keita – 5,0,0,0,0 = 5
    Pedro – 1,1,0,1,1 = 4
    Bojan – 1,0,0,1,0 = 2
    Pique – 2,0,0,0,0 = 2
    Xavi – 0,0,0,1,0 = 1
    Alves – 1,0,0,0,0 = 1

    Assists :

    Messi – 4,0,0,0,1 = 5
    Ibra – 3,1,0,1,0 = 5
    Xavi – 3,1,0,1,0 = 5
    Alves – 3,0,0,1,0 = 4
    Keita – 2,0,0,0,0 = 2
    Iniesta – 2,0,0,0,0 = 2
    Pedro – 0,0,0,1,0 = 1
    Busquets – 1,0,0,0,0 = 1
    Maxwell – 1,0,0,0,0 = 1

    I thought to organize them into different competitions because CDR is starting tomorrow & there will lot of goals & assists by Jonathans, Sorianos, Assulins & Ivans who might not get their chance to do so in the main competitions this season… Well, it would be ideal to post these in a tabular form like in pep’s blog, but I dunno how to do that 🙁

    • Andrew M.
      October 27, 2009

      interestingly Pedro! is the only player to have scored in all competitions so far (barring CDR cos it hasnt happened yet)

  8. October 27, 2009

    Don’t get the point of the article. Madrid has definetely not been helped by refs during the last years. This “Megia Davila” was an active ref in the past, he retired and Madrid offered him a position. It’s quite logical for a ref when retires to continue working in an area he understands.

  9. john lopez
    October 27, 2009

    Random thoughts of the day

    1-Listen if you are looking for a laugh or just to brighten up your day go check out the “ole ole” blog for EE fans. It is painfully hilarious!!!!! They are close to going all JONESTOWN and committing mass suicide over their after the Milan and Gijon results.

    2- ……..[comment edited by moderator]

    3- I love being a worked up feeling goose bumps from emotional football shit on You tube, clearly the best videos are of the SPF 30 goal at the bridge last year, but if you get a chance go check out the Honduran radio call when the USA scores the late equalizer against Costa Rica, thus sending Honduras to the world cup for the first time in 27 years. I teared up!!!!

    4- Although I am by no means Kev or Issiah, I do cover the soccer beat for a Division I college team in Ohio, so just a few thoughts on what I saw against Zaragoza.

    –It’s clear that when we are playing to the best of our abilities,and with a full squad, we are still the best team in the world.
    –Having said that, lets not jump on the Keita bandwagon so fast, against better opposition Yaya needs to be our first choice holding mid, playing right behind Xavi and Iniesta.
    –Can we all agree now that Andres is not a viable long term option at left wing? Not only because his game suffers when he is forced into that role, but also because he is simply to valuable in the midfield, acting as an outlet for Xavi. If the situation presents itself again, that Titi is injured, I prefer Keita on the wing and Andres in his normal role.
    –Whenever Puyol is forced into right back duties, Maxwell needs to start at left back, giving us at least one attacking fullback option at all times.
    –Our center backs all seemed to lack pace at on point or another in the Zaragoza game. Marquez, Pique and Chiggy were all beaten for pace, and that was against shit strikers. We rarely need to play defense, so when we do, lets do so safely and stay away from running a cheeky offside trap. It’s fine to play a high line as long as one of our center backs is man marking the oppositions striker (most teams only play one forward against us lol), and the other be ready for cover.
    –Finally, I have noticed that Pique has really taken to bringing the ball out (about 10 yards into the oppositions side of the field) before sending long passes to the front line. I think this is great, but if you notice, against Kazan and Zaragoza, all his services were to the left, not one ball to Messi on the right. I don’t know if its just because he is more comfortable with that pass or what, but I know Titi will be very appreciative. Pique probably put 10 balls right at Jeffren’s feet in the midweek game, which he was unable to do anything with. It’s safe to say that Titi wont have the same problems.

    **This is my first in depth comment, something I would like to do more often, so any feedback would be appreciated guys.

    • Tutomate
      October 27, 2009

      Great points and welcome. But I disagree about the Keita wagon Im on it. Not because of this game alone but because he has been consistently good since the end of last season and just got even better since this season began. So I don’t think that Ite about playing him over Yaya I think the ones that need to watch ou are Iniesta and Henry specially Henry (though I love him). Because iniesta can start in the Henry spot but float to the center next to Xavi as the game develops since Maxwell and Keite can cover the wing. Additionally Keite did not play the CDM roll againts Zaragoza that was Busi.

    • Boat Forever
      October 27, 2009

      1)Hopefully true, but look at some quality oppositions like Chelsea while claiming that… You may have to eat your words, though I hope not 🙂
      2)Keita never played holding MF in our system, always had either Busi or The Yaya to do that
      3)True, Iniesta is not a long-term solution to LW problems but Keita is no better option either. That’s the reason Sport keeps rubbing those Robinho rumors on to us 🙁
      4)Spot on!!
      5)Don’t have much insight on that dude 😛
      6)Spot on AGAIN!!

  10. BlaugranaDOOM
    October 27, 2009

    Really not the biggest deal. You know that people have biases. He probably did his best not to let them show, now he can. Football is a very subjective sport. That’s what makes it interesting. People still claim that Uefa paid that ref in Chelsea match bc of anti-English sentiment. Fantastic when it goes your way and terrible when it doesn’t.

    In news, Keita will be gone around the 25th of Dec. Hopefully, Mali bows out early.

    Last night, Spain had their player of the year awards and Barcelona won 8 of the 9 awards. Casillas got GK of the year. Messi player and forward of the year. Xavi (mid), Iniesta (attacking mid), Alves (defense), Busi (revelation, which I guess translates to most improved or new player), Pep, and Barca. Not a bad haul.

    • Miguel
      October 27, 2009

      i would’ve picked higuain as the revelation. sorry bouquets.

      • Jnice
        October 27, 2009

        That was Higuains 3rd season in La Liga, no?

  11. poipoi
    October 27, 2009

    Imagine what would have happened if madrid didn’t have the goalie of the year!!!! lol

    • poipoi
      October 27, 2009

      hope that next year valdes gets the award too and we get 7 out of 7, with p! as the revelation 😉

      btw… I loved the midfielder vs of. midfielder thing so both xavi and iniesta can get an award but … isn’t xavi offensive??!!

      • Blow-Granite
        October 27, 2009

        Xavi would have got the offensive midfielder award if he would have scored against Chelsea in the semi final instead of Iniesta.

  12. Kevo
    October 27, 2009

    I’ve seen those videos, hillarious!


    • Helge
      October 27, 2009

      What does “CALLATEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!” mean?

        • Helge
          October 27, 2009

          No need to get cruel, Hector 😉

          And what’s the story behind Keiteeeee, who came up with it? Or is it just the “Spanish” pronounciation of Keita? I thought it was an invention from this blog, but out of a sudden, Puyol cries this name!

          • Tutomate
            October 27, 2009

            Keite is the Catalá version of Keita. I believe.

          • Kevo
            October 27, 2009

            There’s a catalan show called Crackovia or something. ANd it’s makes fun of players and matches or anything that has to do with football.
            The guy who plays as Puyol always calls Keita as Keiteeeeee! with a pretty awesome voice.

            This is my version of Keiteeeee.

  13. Jaybxnyc
    October 27, 2009

    “callate” means shut up in spanish. Puyol a crybaby? pfffffft

    Real Madrid buying another ref ? hardly news to me. Btw I hope our cantera boys play well vs Leon Im sure those guys will try to intimidate them.

  14. Alex
    October 27, 2009

    Quick question for all you prefessional streamers:

    I just downloaded the TVU player and was wonering if there is a certain channel on that website that plays the La Liga/CDR games or if I need to go to rojadirecta to find them?

    • ballbeav
      October 27, 2009

      there are two main channels that are good on TVU, one is GolTV (65217), the other is fox espanol 59687, also maybe setanta 21501, but i think the copa del rey match will not be on thse channels so you need to go to rojadirecta. for future reference, if the game is on GolTV, TVU is better than the streams on rojadirecta (in my experience)

      • Vj
        October 27, 2009

        Painfully lagging by 2 min though.. Excellent quality wise..

          • Helge
            October 27, 2009

            I guess with the great quality he refers to GolTV (65217). Furthermore, every p2p program (TVU, PPStream, SopCast…) has a delay of 1-3 minutes, at least that’s what I experienced. and ‘s only got 8-15 sec delay.

          • Vj
            October 27, 2009

            I meant the TVU streams are always lagging (maybe in Asia only).. And Helge’s observations are correct..

            Except for the Zaragoza match, I did not get any decent Justin/Ustream feed for the last 2-3 matches.. So TVU was one of the last resorts..

            Try rojadirecta and * to find the channels..

  15. Kxevin
    October 27, 2009

    Man, a guy takes a simple 4-hour ride, and the place blows up! I love it!

    Welcome John Lopez, and keep commenting, mostly because you’re saying exactly the things I’m inclined to say, particularly the thing about Ghostface not being cut out for left wing duties now, and quite possibly ever. He’s just too stellar in the midfield.

    And I don’t think you have any worries about anybody not believing that The Yaya is anything short of the resident deity that he is. Many are beginning to come around to our view of him, which is that he is the best DM on the planet. Period, full stop.

    Keita augments him exceptionally well, far better than he works with Busquets, in my estimation. My best midfield still finds a way to have Keita, The Yaya, Xavi and Iniesta in it. Problem is, I don’t see how that’s possible, so when Henry returns, Guardiola will have some decisions to make. You just can’t take a guy off the pitch who’s playing as well as Keita, and The Yaya had his best match in a looong time against Rubin Kazan.

    For Ahsan: What I found is that all providers, by the time you get what you want, all add up to about the same price. I’ve been a happy Comcast subscriber for years, but every now and again I look at DirecTV and Dish Network (and most recently AT&T U-verse). For the package I crave, a pile of goodies that includes TV5, GolTV, Fox Soccer, ESPN Deportes etc. There was mabye a $5 swing.

    So if you can get Comcast, might as well do it. On the up side, their quality of image, customer service and overall level of service is vastly improved since it was the evil cable giant. 😀

  16. Tutomate
    October 27, 2009

    I have a question that resulted from my wife’s take on Villa. What front 3 players would you like next season?
    Villa-Ibra- Messi or Suarez – Ibra – Messi or something else?
    I like the former seems very versitile where anyone can play any position and all can drop to the mid and play a type of enganche.

    • Maximus
      October 27, 2009

      That left wing position is going to be a keenly contested spot for sure. I’d like to see Pedro grow into over another season but Ribery would be ideal. Fast, good finisher, good crosser and creative.

      • Vj
        October 27, 2009

        True that, but you can add Injury-prone and On-Madrid’s-Shopping-List to those adjectives.. Do we want a bidding war with them?

        Suarez? Looks good but can he emulate Henry? Is he really worth overlooking Pedro/Bojan/FF?

        I’d prefer Villa but I guess I would go with whoever Pep deems fit (Just not Robinho)..

      • Kxevin
        October 27, 2009

        Ibra, Messi, Willian. Why? Good question.

        That third guy is going to have to be talented on both ends of the pitch and most importantly, selfless. Forget about coming even close to replacing Henry’s goals. Ain’t gonna happen. Which leaves us with needing a winger with pace, ball skills at both ends of the pitch, who can also play defense, cross the ball well and battle for possession. It would also be great if he didn’t cost 50+mn, as Ribery will most assuredly.

        When I look around, with that list of skills in mind, Willian lands squarely in my sights.

        Suarez: Talented in a kinda crappy league, so who knows?

        Ribery: Expensive, haven’t seen a lot of signs of defense and battling for possession with him. Drifts toward the middle a lot, too.

        Villa: No way. Too expensive. I’d take him at left wing for 30m, but no way he moves for that.

        Silva: Just don’t see him as a pure winger. I see him more in an Iniesta role.

        Another question for the class. Is Hleb gone gone, or is this still a loan thing? I wouldn’t mind seeing him in training camp, frankly, to play for a spot. But I’m afraid that he might have talked himself out of that possibility.

        • ballbeav
          October 27, 2009

          the only reason iniesta shouldnt be on the left:

          1. he is better in midfield
          2. he might not have the flat out pace, over longer distances, that some other might.

          he is quick in the first 5 meters, quicker than almost anyone. but that is different from being *fast*. additionally he penetrates with his dribbling better than henry. in many cases i have liked us better on the left than henry. but i can also imagine someone better there, but iniesta has to be on the field, one way or another. he prefers the midfield. we like him there more too.

          • ElShowDeJason
            October 27, 2009

            So what you are trying to say is that Iniesta has great acceleration, but only decent sprint speed.

            I also think he, like Xavi, have incredible agility which lets them change direction very quickly, and in very little space, which is vital to their ball retention ability.

        • ElShowDeJason
          October 27, 2009

          If Hleb comes back, i still don’t see him having the “deiquilibrante” qualities that we need in our wingers.

          If was to be re-incorporated, he would be some sort of midfielder.

          I like a lot of the options. Although, like Kxevin, I can see where each player has his drawbacks. Willian and Suarez play in crap leagues. Villa’s value to Valencia is substantially greater than his worth to us, so a deal will not happen. Ribery will cost Ibrahimovic-type money. And I don’t think i can condone that.

          Out of the names bandied about, I like Silva, Suarez, and Robinho*, yes, Robinho.

          Silva is versatile, although I would label him a Wide Attacking midfielder, rather than a winger. He can be placed on either wing, or right behind the striker. This means he can rest Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, or Henry. His great work in the Euro with Xavi and Iniesta makes me think he’ll fit right in. in the Euro they used a line of 3 AMs, Silva-Xavi-Iniesta. i suppose it would be Silva-Iniesta-Xavi-Messi, behind Ibra for Barca. Silva is creative, has good ball control, and a better longshot, than most of our players.

          Suarez, while lacking the creativity, and ball control that Silva posseses, seems like he can destabilize the organized defenses that we are facing right now. He seems to be able to play any of the forward positions, and finish well. What i do like is that he is comming from Ajax, who plays with the same philosophy as Barca, so maybe fitting in would go down smoothly.

          Robinho, of course, is a wildcard. All detractors acknowledge that he could be great. All supporters know that he could be a disaster. But he has played at the highest levels in La Liga, and he played damn well when he did. We have a good track record with brazilian forwards.

          tactically, Robinho has more technical ability than all other candidates. Can play Striker, or on either wing. Can pass, and dribble excelently. Finishing ability is standard. Great pace, knows the game. hopefully toughened up from a year in the Prem (a la Pique).

          downside is obviously his price tag, which we must anticipate will be higher than willian or suarez, but i expect it to be lower than Ribery or any valencia player.

          Oh yeah, his work rate, and attitude. It will be a gamble. He is not old, he isn’t that young either. He’s already made a boatload of cash ad Madrid and City. So you have to believe that what he wants is trophies. And wants to be known for great soccer, not for a bag full of cheesy parlor tricks.

          You also have to think that Guardiola and Txiki will not sign a player who they don’t think will give his all for the success of the team. (especially not after out last Belorussian error)

          • Kxevin
            October 27, 2009

            Actually, I’m thinking of Hleb more as a bench support for Xavi or Iniesta, rather than the wing, where he would be (and has been) an abject failure in our system.

            True about Willian and Suarez and their respective leagues. I just keep remembering that had Willian had an accomplice in that Super Cup match, it might not have been there for Pedro! to put away. He raised hell, pure and simple. So he’s different in that we’ve seen him against real competition, which isn’t yet true of Suarez.

  17. Tutomate
    October 27, 2009

    I guess I see Villa leaving Valencia soon and for not nearly the amount they were asking for during the summer. I like the Villa option first because he is already good with Xaviniesta and can okay well in a possesion team can play just about any of the top 3 positions well is young enough for a 4 year contract but not too young as to inhibit Bojan’s and Pedro’s progression. Second I like the Suarez option followed Silva then Willian then about 150 different people before Robinho. I say were going to make an offer Villa again this time around for about 33M. And I base that on absolutely nothing.

  18. Boat Forever
    October 27, 2009

    Okay now this is just for fun, to go into little details & have some discussions… How about Mauro Zárate, the Argentinian from Lazio? I’ll tell some of his very good positives; He’s got very good close control(I mean too good!), he’s got good pace, extremely powerful shot, takes on defenders with ease & he’s already been successful in both EPL & Seria A(which means the risk factor is considerably small ;))
    P.S. I’m not denying that his presidents recent words got me into thinking about this possibility!!!
    We actually inquired about him around same time last year!

    • ElShowDeJason
      October 28, 2009

      I think we don’t want to get anyone too young, because we are trying to bridge the gap between La Masia and the Veterans, between P!, FF, and TH14.

      If we get someone too old, its obvious why it woldn’t work. Too young, and that person would be inexperienced, and would hinder P! and FF’s progress.

      If we were going after youngsters, both Zarate and Di Maria sound good, but i think we are looking for someone in between.

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